Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cherokee Strip - the Race For LandTwo books we've recently enjoyed reading aloud together are Cherokee Strip:  The Race for Land by Aileen Fisher and Nino.  You will perhaps recognize Aileen Fisher's name from All On a Mountain Day.
  She is a wonderful writer and this book has some good character lessons where the main character has to make a decision to do the right thing when it may cost her family something dear to them.  Nino is the story of a young Italian catholic boy and his daily life.  It includes harvesting olives, gathering firewood and other daily life as well as holidays and religious gatherings.  Good descriptions of life in another place and time.  At the end of the book Nino along with his mother and Grandfather prepare to move to America to live with his father.  I believe this book is based on the author, Valenti Angelo's own experiences as a child.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nature Notebooking Owl Pellets

This morning was drizzly and cold so rather than go out on our nature walk we decided to pull out an owl pellet that Ruthie had found some time ago.  I had saved it in a plastic bag for a day like this.  We used tweezers  and a thin sharp tool from our dissecting kit to pull it apart.  It was made up of lots of grey fur and teeny tiny bones. 

  The bones were different shapes so we looked at them through our magnifying microscope (20X).

The children drew some of the bones in their nature notebooks. 

 I was surprised by how tiny the bones were.  The bone I thought was perhaps the pelvis was probably less than a centimeter across and the straight bones were quite a bit thinner than a piece of pencil lead.  We never did find the skull  At one point we wondered if it was a tiny bird as a couple of the bones looked like a tiny claw or beak, but under the microscope you could tell that it was definitely fur fibers rather than feathers.  If the deceased animal was a mouse it must have been a very tiny one.  I'm always amazed by the wonder and diversity of God's creation.  I guess that's the conclusion of nature study - worship.